Jennie-O ground turkey products recalled for salmonella concern

Turkey Roasting in the Oven

"The U.S. Department of Agriculture knows more about the turkey products implicated in this outbreak than it is disclosing to the media or the American people", wrote Sarah Sorscher, CSPI's deputy director of regulatory affairs.

Regulators did not say how many of those people were exposed to products sold by Jennie-O, a subsidiary of food industry giant Hormel. In February, a pet food manufacturer in Minneapolis, Raw for Paws, recalled about 4,000 pounds of its ground turkey pet food after two children became sick after the pet food was fed to pets in their home. They had a use-by date of October, but could still be in freezers.

Sharing the brands and products would allow consumers to better protect themselves, Consumer Reports says. Federal investigators with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) have yet to name the sources of the contamination.

The slowly spreading outbreak hasn't been linked to any one supplier, but the CDC notes that this particular strain has already been found in live birds as well as turkey products and even pet food containing turkey.

With Thanksgiving approaching, the agency is reminding people that they should always properly handle and cook their turkeys to kill any possible salmonella. There's been one reported death, in California, linked to tainted turkey. A Minnesota company earlier this year recalled pet food with the same strain of salmonella.

Symptoms of salmonella poisoning include fever, diarrhea, and stomach aches which develop 12 to 72 hours after coming into contact with the bacterial strain. Most people recover without treatment.

The products subject to recall bear establishment number "P-190" inside the USDA mark of inspection.

Lab tests show that the salmonella came from a variety of products, including ground turkey and turkey patties.

In an open letter published Tuesday, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), a Washington, D.C. -based food safety and nutrition watchdog, criticized the USDA for not being more forthcoming about the companies and brand names associated with the yearlong outbreak, including slaughterhouses and processing facilities. No one should be eating partially cooked or raw turkey.

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